Are You Ready? Step 2: The Right Tools Always Help


Note: In honor of National Disaster Preparedness Month, we are launching a daily series of stories about steps you can take to better prepare your household for when disaster strikes. The goal is be ready for at least a two-week interruption of food, fuel, communication and service suppliers, which is what can be expected in a serious, regional disaster.

At home, having the right wrench or screwdriver can make a world of difference in the success of your household repairs. In an emergency, a flashlight and good batteries, or a map can be just as valuable.

These tools can help in the wide range of emergencies that can put Salem residents at risk, including earthquakes, floods, windstorms, fire, industrial accidents, even volcanic activity and, as we know, pandemics.

"I hope we can talk about preparedness. I hope you can get prepared. And I hope you never have to use it," said Greg Walsh, City of Salem Emergency Manager. "But as a realist and an emergency manager, I know bad things can happen."

Are you prepared to look out for the people who depend on you: children, parents, pets, family members, and neighbors?

Since disasters can happen at any time, you may not be with the people who depend on you when it strikes. It's a good idea to name an out-of-state contact who can help coordinate information if you're separated from your family.

In a major disaster, local cell service may be unreliable. It may be easier to send a text message to your out-of-state contact to let them know your status. They can relay message to other family members.

Let's take the next steps!

Ready Step 2


  • Identify an out-of-state contact to coordinate information for separated family members.


  • Roll of duct tape
  • Two heavy-duty LED flashlights with batteries
  • Pen and paper
  • Map of your local community
  • Compass
  • Additional: Extra pet leash and/or pet carriers, duplicate ID for pets, photos of pets

Now you have food and water for several days, tools in your kit, and a plan to help family members reconnect.

You're on your way!

Success Tip: You may substitute dried backpacking meals or MREs for canned non-perishable foods. Just remember, dehydrated food means you'll need to store additional water. Check cooking instructions for the amount of additional water you'll need.

Ready Step 1: Are You Ready for What's Coming?

More Information and Resources


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555 Liberty ST SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
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